IRT NZ Cup day - Race by Race

13 races and 13 winners - here's the race by race rundown of IRT NZ Cup Day. 

 Race 1 :  The Saunders Robinson Brown Handicap Trot

There's been a big upset in the first with Franco Josiah, paying $40.20 and $7.50, leading all the way in the Saunders Robinson Brown Handicap Trot.

The Ben Waldron-trained seven-year-old, driven by John Morrison, made it seven wins from 59 starts, with Harold Smith second and Peregrine third.

There was no luck for favourite punters with Masterly galloping out of contention.

Race 2 : The Hydroflow Cup Day Maiden Pace

The first drama of Cup day came in Race 2, the Hydroflow Cup Day Maiden Pace, with Sinbad being relegated from first to second.

The Mark Purdon-driven Sinbad just wore down co-favourite Mister Smartee  but in the closing stages touched wheels with his rival, driven by Tim Williams.

After an inquiry Mister Smartee was promoted to first, paying $2.90 and $1.40. It was his first win in just two starts for trainers Craig and Aimee Edmonds.

The winning time over 1980m was 2:19.20.

Race 3 : The Mitre 10 Handicap Trot

Fresh up over 3200 m proved no problem for Royal Pride in Race 3, the Mitre 10 Handicap Trot.  In what was a fine training performance from Fred Fletcher and a perfectly-timed drive from Blair Orange the four-year-old son of Royal Aspirations had his sixth win in 43 starts. There were a heap of chances 200 metres out but Orange managed to find some space and got home, paying $12.40 and $4. The winning time was 4:05.6.

"It was a very good training effort over two miles," says Orange.

"I just prayed for a gap and pushed Rick (Ricky May) out."

May and Streaming Live were second, and Zsa Zoe was third.   

Race 4 : The Garrards Horse and Hound Mobile Pace

Celtic Spirit, trained by Greg and Nina Hope and driven by son Ben, was a dominant winner of the Garrards Horse and Hound Mobile Pace. Fresh up the Sweet Lou three-year-old was speedy off the gate, controlled the tempo and then skipped away to win in 2:21.80. It was his third win in 11 starts. Favourite Millwood Indie was second after getting every chance in the trail. Moonlite Dream was third.

Race 5 : Alabar Junior Free For All Mobile Pace

He was all the rage paying just $1.80 and Republican Party duly delivered with a powerhouse performance in the first of the day's big races, the Group 3 Alabar Junior Free For All Mobile Pace over 2600m. The  Cran and Chrissie Dalgety-trained star made it 11 wins from 18 starts despite losing a boring pole at around the 900 metre mark. It was Orange's second win for the day. It also was action replay for the Dalgetys and Orange after they combined to win the Junior Free For All last year with Krug. Talking about Republic Party Orange told Trackside that "he's such a cool horse, he's as fast as he is tough." Cranbourne was second, and One Change third. The winning time was 3:08.20, with the last mile in 1:56.4.

Race 6 : Harrison Bloy Mobile Pace 

Southland got off the mark in Race 6, the Harrison Bloy Mobile Pace with Snow Robyn coming from well off the pace to win a very competitive race, paying $20.50 and $5.60. Driven by Mark Hurrell and trained by Craig Ferguson at Wyndham,  it was Snow Robyn's second win from as many starts this campaign and the three-year-old filly's fifth victory in 21 starts. Snow Robyn boomed home out wide with Vinke B getting split on the inside to finish second,  with Jimmy James Maguire third. The winning time for the 1980m was 2:20.8. Race 6 was also the first leg of the $100,000 Guaranteed Terminating Pick 6 that finishes with the IRT New Zealand Cup at 5.36pm.  

Race 7 : Nevele R Fillies Series Final Mobile 

The first of the day's Group 1s and it was a comfortable win for the short priced favourite True Fantasy in the $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Series Final. Driven confidently by Natalie Rasmussen True Fantasy strode to the lead and was never headed. Key rival and stablemate Queen Of Diamonds was not a factor after galloping, with Miki Montana and Obsession filling the minors at good money. It was True Fantasy's 10th win in 19 starts.  It's the all powerful All Stars stable's first win for the day, after Sinbad got relegated in race 2. 

Race 8 : Hornby Liquor Centre Worthy Queen Trot (Grp 3)

Bolt For Brilliance was a heavily backed favourite but it was Majestic Man who took out the Group 3 Worthy Queen, at $10 and $2. Starting off 10m in the 2000m feature driver Brad Williamson took his time to get settled as Mataderos galloped out of contention before Bolt For Brilliance made his move. But the Tony Herlihy-trained and driven star couldn't sustain it with Majestic Man rounding them up out wide. It's Majestic Man's 22nd win from 79 starts with the performances of both Mataderos and Bolt For Brilliance real head scratchers ahead of Friday's Dominion where Sundees Son is gunning for a third straight win. The winning time was 2:29.20 with Oscar Bonavena and Aardiebythehill finishing second and third. 

Race 9 : Woodlands Stud Sires Mobile Pace (Grp 1) 

Hotpot Don't Stop Dreaming won the $170,000 Woodlands Stud Sires' Stakes Final, giving the All Stars their second Group 1 win of the afternoon. Driven by Mark Purdon, Don't Stop Dreaming made the most of his front row draw (2) to take the lead early but handed up to the unbeaten Merlin as he looped the field from his poor draw (15) and into the lead. Merlin, who went into the race with eight wins from as many starts, was super brave finishing fourth, with Don't Stop Dreaming's stablemate Sherlock also impressive in finishing second with Alta Meteor third.  Don't Stop Dreaming paid $1.70 and $1.20. Many may have been surprised with Purdon's tactic to take the trail with the favourite but he later said it "was the winning of the race" 

"I was keen to stay in front but I could see that horse was over racing so had no option." 

Don't Stop Dreaming has now won five of his six starts. 

Race 10 : Avon City Ford Mobile Pace 

It was a Robert and Jenna Dunn-trained quinella in the Avon City Ford mobile with Heisenberg just edging out stablemate Magic Four, with the shortest of favourites Franco Indie fading to 4th after being parked.  No Time Like Now was the pacesetter and he held on to finish third. For Heisenberg, who has finished second 17 times, it was his  eighth win in 66 starts. Heisenberg is the day's biggest priced winner so far, paying $54.10 and $9.30. The All Dunn quinella paid $186.70. Franco Indie had been backed in from an opening quote of $4.20 into $1.80. The winning time was 2:20.6 for the 1980m. 

Race 11 The $600,000 IRT New Zealand Cup

In what looked like a re-run of last year's race the Ray Green-trained Copy That has won his second consecutive New Zealand Cup, giving the country's top driver Blair Orange his third victory in four years. Copy That started well from his front line draw and in no time was in the lead. He would not surrender it. The heavily backed  Australian Rock N Roll Doo galloped early and played no part.  With no mid race pressure Orange looked like he always had matters in hand, as Copy That won in 3:54.00. Another Australian Majestic Cruiser got out late to take second place. Orange's previous victories were with Copy That last year,  and Cruz Bromac in 2019. 

Race 12  : First Direct Taxis Trot 

After winning the first with Franco Josiah, John Morrison doubled up with Boss Kenny for trainer Tony Barron in the First Direct Taxis Trot. Ti Amo Belle looked to be going well out front turning for home only for Morrison to run him down, covering the 2600m stand in 3:20. Ti Amo Belle was second and El Conqueror third.  Boss Kenny came off the ballot, only getting a start when Ellatine was scratched. He paid $24.20 and $5.50.  

Race 13 : The Box Seat On Every Wednesday Mobile Pace

Favourite Here's Herbie had one of the most comfortable wins of the day in the very last, the Box Seat on Every Wednesday Mobile Pace. Driver Jim Curtin cruised to the lead from a handy draw and gave no-one else a look in as they won in 2:21.60. Here's Herbie paid $2.80 and $1.60, with Artatac and No Terror finishing second and third. The 12/8/11/5 Quaddie paid $20,969.50. 




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